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Thomas Tipton

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since Feb 07, 2018
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Recent posts by Thomas Tipton

Sometimes these mental tangents can yield new fertile ground for thought.  I have a fireplace on my first floor, directly above the fireplace in my basement that will one day become a batch box with thermal bench.  This arrangement precludes me from transforming the first floor fireplace into a heavy thermal construct.  Your radiator idea gives rise to the possibility of crafting a relatively lightweight ceramic fiber and cob/perlite rocket stove framed up to the ceiling with built in radiators incorporated in such a way as to extract the bulk of the heat before the flu gas is returned down to the fireplace opening and up the existing chimney.  What I'm envisioning is rather steam punk.  I'll have to ponder on this some more.
6 months ago
Depending on the type of sand, it may settle some, but just like with installing paving bricks, it doesn't seem to be much of an issue.  Sand would certainly lock those cans into position though.
6 months ago
I wonder what might be achieved by adding sand in between the voids of the cans and topping off with a few layers of newsprint before adding the cob?  Seems like I learn something new on Permies every day.
6 months ago
I think this is an awesome experiment.  On the plus side you have an insulated floor, due to all the entrapped air pockets.  I also see the possibility that the cans will escape rust for a good long time as they are not exposed to a supply of oxygen.  I am concerned about the ability of the cob layer to withstand the constant flexing of foot traffic, and in so thinking, would consider a covering of tongue and groove plywood or tongue and groove flooring to be advantageous in distributing the loads.  You'll have to keep us posted as to how it performs over time.
6 months ago
I have no idea why this idea even came to me, but the way you say your cob finish is crumbling made me think of how the properties of a protein based egg wash might hold the surface together and give you a more durable finish.  Have no idea how this might affect the color or durability but my instincts rarely fail me.  I know you are not afraid to experiment judiciously so I'm just throwing this out there for your consideration.
8 months ago
I have never built anything quite so large, but I am a quite a tinkerer and enjoy learning about and applying principles of science and physics to my builds.  I'll be doing a lot of research before even attempting this one.   As far as building the wall on the liner.  I suspect that would be ok in my situation, as I'm not dependent on the liner being completely intact.  I would think a bit of leakage this way or that to and from the pool wouldn't be catastrophic, as long as the bio-filter beds are up to the task.  I would like a circular pool.  So imagine digging a sloping circular hole, with a flat center, lining it all, building the block wall on the inside perimeter, then filling with water and back filling the outer perimeter of the wall with the gravel beds and bubbler pipes.  The weight of the gravel on the wall would apply compressive force to the block wall and equalize the stress on it.  For the floor of the pool, I would lay a bed of sand, or pea gravel, and maybe even set flagstone or sandstone slabs to cover the bottom.  The idea here is to give a close approximation of a solid bottom, and provide enough heft to prevent the rising swell of groundwater in the spring from ballooning the liner.  The one aspect I have to work out is how to have a sandy beach that walks directly down into the pool.  Having trouble picturing the transition area from beach to opening to pool wall.  So far I've only seen Butlers youtube video's and work's others have done.
8 months ago
The only reason why I was trying to avoid using a liner is because they are known to start leaking after 20 to 25 years.  Which would require a complete rebuild in most cases.  I had hoped I could get away from using one due to the fact that most people HAVE to use one because they don't have suitable soil for holding the water in.  My main concern is in not allowing the soft clay sides of the pond to infiltrate into the gravel beds and make the water cloudy with silt.  By using a liner, I can keep the clay in it's place, keep the gravel beds from filling up with sediment, and keep the water clean.  In every other aspect, my design is much as David has done.  With bubblers ,and/or pumps to move the water through the filtration beds.    What I don't want is to walk out into my pool ankle deep in muck.  Lol.  The typical rectangular or circular swimming area should stay nice and clean.
8 months ago
Reports from my neighbors who have dug ponds on their properties suggest very deep clay and very high water table.  I could basically just dig a hole in the ground and it will fill with water.  That gives me confidence that I won't have issues as Elle may have experienced, but as Hugo has mentioned, the clay is a very poor substrate and will likely seek to infiltrate my gravel beds and make my water turbid and cloudy with silt.  I believe my best bet is to use a liner as a barrier against the clay infiltrating into the pool water and possibly using flagstones on a bed of pea gravel on the bottom of the pool to keep the membrane from detaching from the bottom, as this is a problem I've seen with a couple of the public pools in our area.   The pressure from the ground water pushes on the liner from beneath and causes them to balloon up from the bottom of the pool.  In this case, I won't be concerned about the liner leaking, no matter how old it gets, as long as it keeps the clay on one side and the water on the other it should do all I need it to.

I have not seen Mr. Butler's washing machine tumbler water skimmer.  Sounds very interesting.  I'll have to look that one up.
8 months ago
I'm cross posting this idea from my original post at Donkey32Proboards.  http://donkey32.proboards.com/thread/3567/blocks-crushed-granite-cement-thermal?page=1&scrollTo=33373.

I have been pondering the best way to achieve high thermal density in a thermal mass bench without the expense of using blocks of cut granite, marble, or soapstone.  It occurred to me that using crushed granite of varying sizes as an aggregate would allow me to cast a solid dimensional block using concrete as a binder.

I did some looking and found that #10 and #57 granite (fine screenings and 1/4" to 1/2 inch pieces respectively), would likely permit a block to be cast that is 90 to 95 percent granite.  That's as close to granite as it gets.  While I'm presently tied up with my Recycled Natural Gas Water Heater to Solar Water Heater build, I'll likely not be getting around to testing this idea for some time, though no doubt I'll be looking up cheap and efficient ways to cast them.

If anyone has done this, or is willing to give it a go, I'd love to hear about how it performs.

In the Spirit of Sharing

Thomas
8 months ago
I've been studying up on Mr. David Pagan Butler's Natural Swimming Pools and I think I might like to have one in my back yard.  My back yard, the soil of which is composed of a bluish gray clay, is very nearly always saturated with water after a hard rain.  This spring especially, I have not been able to mow due to the fact that much of the yard is in puddles inches deep.  This got me to thinking, after some prodding by my lovely wife, that if I cannot get a useful claim on the land, then I might at least get a useful claim on the water.  From my limited understanding of pond construction, a high water table, such as in my situation, precludes the use of a pond liner.  I'll be marking the spring high water level today, and digging a test hole this summer to discover how far the water level recedes over the summer drought.  Hopefully, it won't move too much.  If anyone else has built a Natural Swimming Pool under these conditions, I would be very interested to know what challenges you faced and how you went about overcoming them.
11 months ago